Welcome to the Eau Claire Chamber Blog
Bailey Lieck Merrill has joined the staff at SDS Architects as an architectural designer. Lieck Merrill has a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Minnesota and is working toward her professional licensure as an architect. SDS Architects of Eau Claire is a professional architecture firm offering consulting, design, and management services for clients such as commercial businesses, K-12 and post-secondary education, real estate developers, governmental bodies, manufacturing, churches and other organizations.
Attorney Walker J. J. Stutzman has joined the law firm of Weld Riley, S.C. He will practice in the firm’s Employment Section. Prior to joining the firm, Stutzman practiced in the Milwaukee area for a boutique workers’ compensation defense firm. In that role, he worked directly with corporations and individuals on defending corporate interests. Previous to private practice, Stutzman served as corporate counsel for a Fortune 100 company located in the Midwest.
Adam Fechner, a senior design engineer for Low Voltage Contractors, recently became certified in AutoSPRINK Training. AutoSPRINK is specialty software for designing sprinkler systems. Fechner is already NICET Level II in Fire Alarm and NICET Level I in Security Surveillance Systems, after joining the company with no knowledge in either discipline in 2013. To earn his certification in AutoSPRINK, Fechner had to complete 40 hours of training and pass a certification exam.
Radiologist Erik Steckler, M.D., recently joined the Radiology Department at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire. Steckler earned his bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He earned his medical degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Steckler completed his residency at the University of South Florida in Tampa and a fellowship in neuroradiology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He is a member of the American Medical Association, the American College of Radiology and the American Society of Head and Neck Radiology.
Chilson Automotive of Chippewa Falls was recently recognized by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) as a recipient of the 2016 Customer First Award for Excellence. More than 3,000 Chrysler certified dealerships across the United States were eligible for the Customer First Award for Excellence, Chilson Automotive of Chippewa Falls is one of only 124 claiming this achievement.
The Oxbow Hotel and The Lakely restaurant have partnered with Larson Companies of Eau Claire, a prominent local hospitality management company, to assist in the launch and management of the extraordinary, one of a kind facility. The Oxbow Hotel is a 30-room “boutique” hotel and is Eau Claire’s most authentic place to stay and experience the city. The hotel consists of the Main House which is reminiscent of the 1940’s era with a modern lakeside twist and The Flats, a mid-century modern building adjacent to the Main House. The onsite restaurant, The Lakely, offers a guests casual dining experience with craft cocktails and Midwest modern comfort food.
Regent John Behling was re-elected to serve as vice president of the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents. Behling has served on the Board since 2012. He is an attorney and vice president with the Weld Riley law firm where he advises on regulatory, environmental, zoning, permitting and public relations matters.
Attorney Ryan J. Steffes has been elected to the Management Committee of Weld Riley, S.C. Steffes works in the Civil Litigation, Insurance Defense, and Labor & Employment Sections. In his practice, he defends employers on a wide range of employment matters, including breach of contract claims, wage and hour disputes, unemployment compensation disputes and discrimination claims filed under the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act.
Psychiatrist George Melnyk, M.D., recently joined the Behavioral Health Department at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire. Melnyk earned his medical degree from the University of Perpetual Help College of Medicine in the Philippines. He completed his residency in general psychiatry at New York Medical College. He received his bachelor’s degree from Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois. He is a member of the American Medical Association and the American Society of Addiction Medicine. Melnyk has been practicing psychiatry for 28 years. For the past 14 years, he worked at Mayo Clinic Health System – Franciscan Healthcare in La Crosse, Wisconsin.
HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital colleagues Jessica Erickson, physical therapy manager, and Anne Sadowska, registered occupational therapist, have been appointed to serve as the outpatient and inpatient managers for physical, occupational and speech therapies at HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals. Erickson and Sadowska will officially begin their new roles July 17. The two hospitals combined their rehabilitation service offerings earlier this year. Erickson joined St. Joseph’s Hospital in 2001 as a rehabilitation aide in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Erickson holds a doctorate in physical therapy. Sadowska joined St. Joseph’s Hospital in 2015 as a staff occupational therapist. Prior to joining the hospital, she served as regional director of rehabilitation services for MJ Care in Milwaukee.
Royal Credit Union (Royal) has named Paul Roach enterprise development manager. He is responsible for leading the systems software architecture, as well as designing activities that lead to the development and implementation of efficient and innovative enterprise-wide information systems and software solutions. Roach began with Royal in 1998 as a computer operator while attending college. He then completed an internship with Royal. Upon graduation, he was hired as a data coordinator from 2000-2005. His most recent position with Royal has been an application developer, in which he began in 2013.
Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) will offer new associate degree programs in digital marketing and sales management, plus technical diplomas in entrepreneurship and nail technician after recently winning approval from the state Wisconsin Technical College System Board. Also approved was a 6,800 sq. ft. addition to the CVTC West Campus for the architectural structural design program. The digital marketing program and nail technician program both will be offered starting in January 2017 and the sales management program will begin in August, all at the Eau Claire campus.
Eau Claire Regional Arts Council recently announced the featured artists for the 2016 season of Community Supported Art (CSA) and began selling member shares to the public today. Member shares cost $250 each for nine pieces of locally made art. Also included are lots of extras, “bumper crop,” like theatre tickets, prints from local galleries, free admissions to art workshops, gift certificates to local businesses and other free stuff from our sponsors. The CSA can be purchased by contacting the Eau Claire Regional Arts Center. Over the last 20 years, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has become a popular way for consumers to buy seasonal food directly from local farms. With the same buy-local spirit in mind, are pleased to bring CSA to our community, to support local art, artists and collectors. This local project is modeled on Community Supported Art in Minnesota, created by mnartists.org and Springboard for the Arts. The nine artists selected this summer are Sandra Cress, illustrator; Jane Foos, fabric artist; Jessica Mongeon, painter and photographer; Crysten Nesseth, metal sculptor; Nancy Dutmer, fabric artist; Hope Greene, photographer; Elizabeth Larson,watercolor artist; Patti See, author; Revay Henneman, potter. The goals of the CSA program are to support artists and to create an engaged community of local arts supporters.
The Wellness Council of America (WELCOA) recently named Group Health Cooperative of Eau Claire the winner of its On the Move company challenge, a wellness competition focused on fueling national corporate health initiatives to combat physical inactivity and ignite behavior change. Participating employees tracked activity through Fitbits, completed weekly move challenges and health quizzes while also engaging in online team support. Nationwide, almost 80,000 employees participated in this 12-week online challenge spanning April, May and June. The Cooperative was formally recognized as the winner of the competition on June 27, 2016. Collectively, the organization took over 87 million steps, covering about 43,000 miles. In other words, Group Health Cooperative employees walked around the world – nearly twice.
Group Health Cooperative also won a similar statewide competition piloted by WELCOA last year. In order to help encourage healthier communities in Western Wisconsin, Group Health Cooperative sponsored the participation of several local businesses in the challenge. In total, Group Health Cooperative provided $7,288 in funding for almost 1,000 area employees for the challenge. Some of these companies included Eau Claire County, awarded 6th place in the enterprise division, Stanley-Boyd School District, awarded 2nd place in the small business division Realityworks, awarded 3rd place in the small business division, as well as Weld Riley and the Eau Claire YMCA.
Dan Rickert, director of solution sales at EO Johnson Business Technologies, has been named a Young Influencer of 2016 by The Cannata Report, an industry authority on office products and workflow solutions. In this third annual report, 10 young influencers – who are ages 40 and under – are recognized as industry leaders. The report is published in the June 2016 issue of The Cannata Report.
The Accreditation Committee of the College of American Pathologists (CAP) has awarded renewed accreditation to HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital based on results of a recent on-site inspection as part of the CAP’s accreditation programs. The U.S. federal government recognizes the CAP Laboratory Accreditation Program, begun in the early 1960s, as being equal-to or more-stringent-than the government’s own inspection program. During the CAP accreditation process, designed to ensure the highest standard of care for all laboratory patients, inspectors examine the laboratory’s records and quality control of procedures for the preceding two years. CAP inspectors also examine laboratory staff qualifications, equipment, facilities, safety program and record and overall management.
Mike Erickson, physical therapist at HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital, recently earned his orthopedic clinical specialist certification from the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialists. This certification recognizes physical therapists with advanced clinical knowledge, experience and skills in orthopedics. Erickson also holds a doctorate degree in physical therapy.
Oladapo Igandan, M.D., a hospitalist, recently joined the Hospital Medicine Department at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire. A hospitalist is a physician who is dedicated full time to taking care of patients admitted to the hospital. Igandan earned his medical degree from the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Oyo State in Nigeria, and completed his internal medicine residency at Harlem Hospital Center, an affiliate of Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. Prior to joining Mayo Clinic Health System, Igandan served as a physician with the Ministry of Health in Nigeria and as a medical officer at General Hospital, Port of Spain, in Trinidad and Tobago. He is a member of the American Medical Association and the American College of Physicians. Igandan is certified in advanced cardiovascular life support and basic life support.
The Women’s Giving Circle of Eau Claire (WGC) announced its new Young Philanthropists outreach program. One hundred young people between the ages of 22 and 39 will have the opportunity to become members of the WGC at a reduced rate. The WGC, a fund of the Eau Claire Community Foundation, was founded in 2007. Its diverse group of members uses the power of collective giving by pooling their donations in order to fund grants to nonprofit organizations that work to enhance the well-being of women and children in our community. Anyone interested in learning more about the WGC—or joining it—can explore the Women’s Giving Circle page of the Eau Claire Community Foundation website at www.eccommunityfoundation.org.
Royal Credit Union (Royal) has named Julie Frey vice president of business loan operations and services. She is responsible for providing strategic direction and leading the Business Operations department. This includes overseeing the processes and ongoing services of business lending, as well as the administration and oversight of business services for the credit union as a whole. Frey began working for Royal in 1998 in the business department, where she has worked since. She started with Royal as the business loan operations supervisor, but as the department expanded, her role did the same. Her most recent position with Royal was the business operations manager. Frey serves on Royal’s Operational Committee, which is responsible for providing oversight for corporate projects and initiatives. She has worked in the Chippewa Valley banking industry, with a focus on business loans and services, for the past 34 years.
Wausau Homes announced it will now be building quality custom dream homes in Eau Claire and the surrounding communities. Scott and Cheryl Schmidt will be opening their new Design Studio in early July. Wausau Homes builds fully custom one-of-a-kind, superior quality homes – from floor plans to finishes – with a firm price and move in date, guaranteed.
Licensed professional counselor Paul Roadt recently joined the Behavioral Health Department at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire. Roadt earned his master’s degree in social work-mental health from UW-Madison. He received his bachelor’s degree in social work from UW-Eau Claire. Roadt’s specialty area is in addiction treatment.
Certified nurse practitioner Emily Geissler has rejoined Spine & Neurological Surgery Department at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire. Geissler earned her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in nursing from UW-Eau Claire. Most recently, she served as a nurse practitioner with Neurological Associates in Minneapolis. She previously worked in Spine & Neurological Surgery at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire and Neuroscience/Pediatrics/Trauma. She is a certified nurse practitioner and neuroscience registered nurse.
Feather Communications owner and Certified Professional Resume Writer Dr. Heather Rothbauer-Wanish has been chosen as a breakout speaker for the 2016 Polka Dot Powerhouse Annual Celebration in St. Charles, IL. The Annual Celebration is a two-day event that allows members from all of its chapters to come together for speakers, sponsors, and workshops. During the event, held in October 2016, Rothbauer-Wanish will present a session about overcoming obstacles and setting goals—in both your personal and professional life.
ADG Architects & Five Bugles Design in Eau Claire announced the addition of three new hires. Shirley Sarbaugh is taking on the new positon of healthcare planner. Sarbaugh has 20 years of career experience as a medical planner, interior designer and clinical consultant as well as 16 years practicing as a registered nurse with active nursing license in IL and MN. Mike Scott is the new emergency services specialist. Scott has 33 years of career experience in public safety work including serving as a volunteer firefighter, police officer, deputy sheriff and a career fire chief. Mike Lorenz has been hired as a project captain. Lorenz has an associate’s degree from Northcentral Technical College in Wausau. He also has 30 years of experience, most recently with TCI Architects/Engineers/Contractor in La Crosse.
L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library in Eau Claire recently introduced its new BookBike service, which is a custom-built trailer pulled by a bicycle and holds about 100 items. It is essentially a very small library branch on wheels. Customers will be able to check out materials, sign up for a library card, get answers to reference questions, learn how to download digital content and so much more. While book bikes have been gaining popularity nationally, the BookBike is only the second known book bike service in Wisconsin; Madison Public Library rolled out their Spoke-n-words book bike service last fall. Spearheading the BookBike project were Director Pamela Westby, Youth Services Manager Shelly Collins-Fuerbringer, Reference Associate Peter Rudrud, and Library Board Trustee Bob Eierman, who also chaired the Eau Claire Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Commission for several years. In addition to visiting the Downtown Farmers Market, the BookBike schedule also includes stops at the Sounds Like Summer Concert Series in Phoenix Park and select Summer Cinema events on the west lawn of Haas Fine Arts Center on the UW-Eau Claire campus. Several special events, including the United Way Block Party in Chippewa Falls and the International Fall Festival in downtown Eau Claire, are also planned. The complete schedule can be found at www.ecpubliclibrary.info/bookbike/.
David Hopkins of Woita & Associates Business & Retirement Planning in Altoona recently earned the Retirement Income Certified Professional (RICP) designation. Eligible financial planners must have other certifications in place as well as several years of documented professional experience in order to apply to take the courses and pass the exams required to obtain the designation. RICP candidates receive specific training focused on topics such as converting savings to steady income, choosing when to claim social security benefits and company-sponsored retirement programs, how to cover health insurance, long term care, and protect retirement income. Hopkins joins an elite group of financial planners in obtaining this designation with only a few local individuals having earned it and only a few thousand nationwide possessing the designation.
Wendy McDermott M.D., a hospitalist, recently joined Hospital Medicine at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire. A hospitalist is a physician who is dedicated full time to taking care of patients admitted to the hospital. McDermott earned her medical degree from the University of Minnesota-School of Medicine in Minneapolis. She received her bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at North Dakota State University in Fargo, North Dakota. McDermott completed her internal medicine residency at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Prior to joining Mayo Clinic Health System, she served as a hospitalist at Bell Hospital and at Sound Inpatient Physicians in Ishpeming, Michigan.
Radiologist Won Song, M.D., recently joined the Radiology Department at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire. Song earned his bachelor’s degrees in biology, chemistry and psychology from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. He earned his medical degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine. Song completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Washington, along with a residency in radiology at the San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium and a fellowship in nuclear medicine in San Antonio, Texas. Song is a lieutenant colonel with the United States Army. Prior to joining Mayo Clinic Health System, Song served as chief of diagnostic imaging and nuclear medicine at Womack Army Medical Center in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Licensed athletic trainer Sydney Kapitany recently joined the Sports Medicine Department at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire. Kapitany earned her master’s degree in education from UW-Stout and a bachelor’s degree in athletic training from the UW-Eau Claire. Her professional interests include concussion management and education.
Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire also announced that it has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award with Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to ensuring that stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence. Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period.
Chippewa Valley Home Builders Association announced the following winners of this year’s Parade of Homes People’s Choice Awards:
EO Johnson Business Technologies Locknet® Managed IT Services ranks among the world’s most progressive 501 Managed Service Providers (MSPs), according to Penton Technology’s 9th-annual MSP 501 list and study. This is the fifth consecutive year Locknet® has been recognized by MSPmentor, ranking in the Global Edition in 2014 and 2015 and in their North America’s top 200 list in 2012 and 2013. The top MSP 501 companies ranked this year include organizations from around the world and from diverse technology and business backgrounds. The 2016 MSP 501 list is based on data collected by MSPmentor and its partner, Clarity Channel Advisors.
Green Oasis announced its new window cleaning service. Starting in the summer of 2016, Green Oasis has certified and trained technicians for its new service is available for both home or commercial property owners.
Bauman Associates is conducting the annual audit June 21-23 and will present a report to the Board at the August meeting.
The Board discussed the new Federal Overtime Legislation, which is slated to go into effect December 1, 2016. The Chamber will be hosting a seminar for members to learn about how this will impact their businesses.
The Chamber is monitoring Eau Claire County’s proposed Living Wage Ordinance as County Board Committees consider its potential costs and impact. More information to follow.
The Board will be going electronic at their August meeting. All agenda items have been sent electronic for years but now instead of using Board books with printed materials, Board members will bring their own devices to the meetings to the agenda and supporting materials. The Chamber would like to thank Bob & Lois Krause for donating three IPads to the Chamber to be used at Board meetings.
The Chamber hired three interns: Shelby Sonnentag to input data for the Chippewa Valley Wage Survey, Peter Hienz, UWEC, who will be the Legislative Intern and Kelsie Wallace, ASU, who is working on Chamber projects for the summer.
The Chamber, UW-Eau Claire, Visit Eau Claire and a number of local companies will host nearly 200 UWEC Alumni, under the age of 35, on June 30 for a reception and a St. Paul Saints game. The purpose is to talk to them about what Eau Claire is like today and job opportunities that are available and get them thinking about coming back to Eau Claire to work.
The Board heard reports form the Leadership Eau Claire teams about their group project. They worked on the following projects:
American Cancer Society - recruited volunteer coordinator position
Children’s Museum of Eau Claire - Playful City designation
City of Eau Claire - poverty study and presentation
Vietnam Veteran's Group - planned event held in Carson Park in June 2016
Visit Eau Claire - did research for possible re-branding of area to Music Capitol of the North
Approved 10 new members and 14 dropped members.
Larson Companies announced that the new Staybridge Suites Eau Claire-Altoona has opened. The newly constructed 90,000 sq.-ft. Staybridge Suites is an innovative all-suite hotel brand designed to meet the needs of extended stay guests looking for upscale amenities. It is ideal for travelers seeking a residential-style hotel that is perfect for business, relocation or vacation.
HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award with Target: StrokeSM Honor Roll Elite. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to providing the most appropriate stroke treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.
HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital’s L.E. Phillips-Libertas Treatment Center received the David ‘Mac’ Macmaster Award for pioneering efforts to address tobacco use in the behavioral health setting. The center was one of five facilities in the state to earn this year’s award.
Dr. Peter Myers received an $110,000 award from The Heritage Foundation Simon Center’s Visiting Fellowship in American Political Thought, a prestigious organization that has a long history of producing politically significant research. Myers is a longtime UW-Eau Claire professor whose areas of expertise include political philosophy, American political thought and U.S. Constitutional law.
The Council on Undergraduate Research has announced that a University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire faculty member and the leader of support for research on campus has been named CUR's executive board general representative.
Dr. Karen Havholm, professor of geology, assistant vice chancellor for research and sponsored programs, and director of the Center of Excellence for Faculty and Undergraduate Student Research Collaboration at UW-Eau Claire, will begin her term in June.
Shannara Faupl has assumed duties as nurse director for primary care for Mayo Clinic Health System in northwest Wisconsin. As nurse director, Faupl will oversee the Family Medicine, Urgent Care and Express Care departments, along with the Mayo Clinic Family Medicine Residency Program. She has been employed with Mayo Clinic Health System for 15 yea
L.E. Phillips-Libertas Treatment Center in Chippewa Falls has recently promoted Carla Griggs, RN, to nurse manager of the center. In her new role, Griggs will coordinate and manage nursing personnel and resources and work with local organizations to best serve client needs at the center. Griggs holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where she is also pursuing her doctoral degree in nursing.Prior to serving as a registered nurse at the treatment center, she served as a registered nurse at the Wisconsin Department of Corrections.
Marshfield Clinic Health System (MCHS) today announced its new "Caring for the Chippewa Valley" plan to build a hospital with attached cancer care on land the Clinic has purchased near its Eau Claire campus. MCHS officials said owning and operating a state-of-the-art hospital in Eau Claire is an important move that allows the organization to offer the highest level of care locally while gaining more control over the cost and quality of care it has provided in the community for more than two decades. The hospital will be built at 1202 W. Clairemont Ave., current site of the Plaza Hotel & Suites. MCHS has purchased the real estate, and the hotel business will continue to operate the Plaza through December. The building will be razed over the winter, and groundbreaking is scheduled for spring of 2017. The cancer care location is tentatively set to open in fall of 2017, with the hospital opening expected the following year, Turney said. Cancer care services will continue to be provided at Marshfield Clinic Cancer Care at Sacred Heart Hospital until the transition.
Eau Claire Chamber
The Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce has more than 1,200 members.